The Princeton Review reports that education is the fifth top major area of study for college students. It was also the most popular master’s degree conferred in the 2009-2010 school year at 182,000 degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The popularity of education both as a major and as a career field is due in large part to the dedication that many prospective and current teachers feel toward educating and inspiring future generations. Education jobs are also widespread. That makes the field more stable than other careers that are confined to specific locations.
An increasing population drives up the need for educators and education administrators, both careers education majors can pursue. The demand is highest in low-income and inner-city schools, and many lenders participate in loan forgiveness programs for educators who work for five consecutive school years in these institutions, according to Federal Student Aid. While high school teaching careers are currently experiencing slow growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), educators are still needed in several other areas. In particular, the field of special education is projected to grow by 17% by 2020, and kindergarten and elementary teachers will be needed to meet a 17% growth rate at those academic levels, according to the BLS. Keep in mind that salaries will vary according to experience and the individual school district in which you are employed.